Kia EV9- The Latest 7 Seater EV Offering from Kia!

Affordable family EVs are still relatively rare. There are plenty of electric cars around, and many have features familiar to people such as fast charging and a big screen inside. However, few cater for the need for three rows of seats that most large US families demand.

"The Kia EV9 is set on becoming a car that not only provides ample range — especially important in the EV world — but also delivers intelligent packaging solutions", according to Kia Vice President Eric Watson.

"It’s perfectly designed for all those who spend countless hours driving children back and forth from school, soccer practice, and purposeful road trips," he adds.

There is a Rising Demand for Three-Row Vehicles in the US

In the US, Americans bought over 2 million three-row vehicles this year through October, figures showed.

This accounts for almost 20% of all new cars sold in the country. A majority of these buyers are geared towards more modest options: data indicates that the average transaction price for a three-row vehicle is $57,000.

The most popular seven-seater both in conventional and electric form is Toyota's Highlander. The starting price for this model is just under $40,000- very much on the low end of what you'll see when shopping for a three-row car or SUV on auto row.

One in Five Vehicles Sold in US are 3-Row Seaters

US families with three or more kids are rare, making up only about 8%. But the problem lies in that even those with one or two kids often find themselves constantly carting around children who invite friends on trips to amusement parks, sports practices and other destinations.

EV powered vehicles have largely either not addressed this challenge at all or offered deeply limited options for people in need of a seven-seater. Just four of the roughly 50 electric vehicle models currently available in the US have a three rows version of seating among their ranks.

This represents an overwhelming dearth when one considers that there are virtually no such options beyond the likes of niche offerings like Mercedes’s EQS and its upcoming EQB SUV, Rivian’s R1S and Tesla Inc.’s Model X (though it does technically require a two-seat upgrade). And obtaining any variant capable of traversing more than 300 miles on a charge costs well north of $80,000.

The math is stark: About one in every five vehicles sold through August had seating for three rows- and this figure includes one million vehicles that costed approx. $50,000!

Kia EV9- A Complete Package (7 Seats, 304 Mile Range and Starts ate $54,900)

The EV9 may be the first car released in the US that strikes a balance between price, seating capacity, and range. It can fit seven people and drive 304 miles on a single charge. The SUV starts at $54,900.

While other affordable SUVs make big sacrifices when adding extra seats, the EV9 does not. It offers almost as much storage space (20 cubic units) as a Tesla Model 3 despite also packing in two additional passenger spots.

Allyson Harwood, a senior editor at Kelley Blue Book, praised the EV9 for being “spacious”, "upscale” and quiet." She said she came away very impressed with the vehicle’s ability to meet the needs of three-row SUV shoppers. "The advantage of never having to stop at a gas station again cannot be overstated," she noted.

Volvo plans to introduce its own seven-seater EV dubbed the EX90, next year. It has promised that it will have a range of 300 miles and carry an MSRP around $80,000. Meanwhile, Volkswagen also is getting in on reimagining its classic vehicles through battery power with a revival of its beloved microbus called the ID Buzz!

The Bottom Line

Kia has been taking reservations for the EV9 since mid-October, and the uptake from consumers has been both better and broader than expected. In particular, areas of Texas where people are accustomed to driving big trucks have shown a strong interest in the seven-seater.

Those kind of numbers suggest that the EVs will sell beyond states with rigid zero-emission requirements on their books. Indeed, Kia said it had received reservations from all 50 U.S. states—a list that includes traditionally truck-heavy North Dakota even as others like California and New York were also contributing to its early success story.
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